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Game of Kings, The by Dorothy Dunnett

Game of Kings, The (1961)

by Dorothy Dunnett

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Title:Game of Kings, The
Authors:Dorothy Dunnett
Info:Arrow, Paperback, 640 pages
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The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett (1961)


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Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
I first read this book and its sequels when I was a teenager fascinated by history. I'd heard of Mary Queen of Scots, who hasn't. I'd been to some of the locations, but I learned so much from these books! I can remember reading the first page. It's night time in Edinburgh. The hero, Francis Crawford is trying to sneak into the city. He's a wanted man so he swims across the loch.

What loch?

There's no loch below Edinburgh castle!
Not now. But before Princess St Gardens there was indeed a loch. I looked it up and from that moment on I was hooked. I didn't understand all the references and I still don't (the number increases with each reading) but that made absolutely no difference to my enjoyment of the book.

Francis Crawford has to be one of the best male protagonists in fiction. He's complicated. His mother Sybilla, likewise. This first book is set entirely in Scotland and the scottish borders but other in the series range across the world, from France to Malta, to Constantinople, Russia and back again, finally to France and Scotland.

The book is filled with well researched events, the story is woven around historic figures. The series features warfare, politics, music, deception, drugs, strategy, swordplay, sex, a soupcon of sorcery and a few word games as well.

I can't recommend these books highly enough. ( )
  LesleyORice | Jul 20, 2017 |
This book is amazing, Lymond is amazing, but the writing made me feel inadequately educated. Not the easiest novel to dive into, but well worth the effort. ( )
  semjaza | Jul 13, 2017 |
No, just -- NO. Who talks like that? I couldn't even understand what they were saying. I'm disappointed, I wanted to love it.
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
I've had this for years and figured it would be a good book for a plane ride. So many people I know have recommended her books and I like big saga-type series. I'm Scottish on my mother's side, so I figured it would be an appealing read. But I didn't like it: the language irritated me, I was confused by the characters and the plot. I gave it 90 pages then put it aside. Maybe I'll go back to it. Maybe not. ( )
  piemouth | Jun 18, 2017 |
The time is the 16th century; the place is Scotland. The young Queen, Mary Queen of Scots, is under the protection of her mother, Mary of Guise. England is plotting to marry Mary off to the king's son and thus secure Scotland for England, while France is hoping to bolster the Auld Alliance. In this context we have Francis Crawford of Lymond, the spare to the title of Lord Culter and pronounced outlaw for allegations of treason. Over the course of this book the reader must grapple with the question of whether Lymond, as he is known, is actually as bad as people say he is... or better... or worse.

This is a very meaty book. Dunnett packs it, Christmas pudding-like, with elegant turns of phrase, humourous narration, allusions, and poetry in several languages. A companion book to the series explains the references, but the casual reader can very easily just smile and nod. The most difficult part of reading this may be keeping track of all of the characters; fortunately, there is a list provided of the major players, and if the reader spends extended periods of time with the book, it's much easier to follow along.

The book also contains great roles for women: Sybilla, Mariotta, Christian Stewart, Philippa Somerville, and Janet Beaton are some of the many who get excellent lines and advance the plot in their own way.

Overall, I found this more enjoyable when I read it for long periods uninterrupted and could get into the flow of the story. I'd like to fill in the gaps of my historical knowledge as best I can. In the meantime, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the other installments of the series. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Oct 11, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dorothy Dunnettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gillies, SamuelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679777431, Paperback)

Praised for her historical fiction by critics and devoted fans alike, author Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles took the romance world by storm some 30 years ago, firmly fixing Dunnett's reputation as a master of the historical romance. The Game of Kings, the first story in The Lymond Chronicles, sets the stage for what will be a sweeping saga filled with passion, courage, and the endless fight for freedom. The setting is 1547, in Edinborough, Scotland. Francis Crawford of Lymond returns to the country despite the charge of treason hanging over his head. Set on redeeming his reputation, He leads a company of outlaws against England as he fights for the country he loves so dearly. Dangerous, quick-witted, and utterly irresistible, Lymond is pure pleasure to watch as he traverses 16th-century Scotland in search of freedom. The Game of Kings is a must-have for the historical romance connoisseur.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:26 -0400)

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Francis Crawford of Lymond, a notorious outlaw, returns to Scotland in 1547. He announces his arrival by setting fire to his estranged brother's castle. He then turns his attention to breaching Edinburgh's gates, which have been sealed to keep out British invaders.… (more)

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